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Transgender youth and young adults are some of the most vulnerable people in our state. This is so not because of who they are but because of a lack of awareness, education, empathy, and understanding on the part of far too many of their fellow South Dakotans.

For the past six years, transgender people have faced the threat of discriminatory legislation in the state Capitol and demeaning commentary from elected officials and public leaders; additionally, youth and their families have had to advocate for themselves to ensure they are being treated fairly in their schools, workplaces, and communities. Though this has been a significant burden it has also presented an opportunity for transgender youth to develop advocacy skills that have helped them feel empowered and capable. Given the barriers to fair treatment the community continues to face it is critical that transgender people and their families are empowered to be their own champions.

We believe that transgender people know what is best for them and that they are experts in their own lives. We seek to empower youth, young adults, and their families and prepare them to advocate for the rights they deserve.